Open contracting in Mexico

Mexico has been at the forefront of innovation and collaboration around open contracting. It has been one of the first countries to express an interest in implementing the Open Contracting Data Standard and was among the first countries to validate the standard in 2014. The widest commitment yet to make public contracts open by default came at the UK Anti-Corruption Summit in London this May.

The following initiatives are part of this wave of open contracting innovation at the national level in Mexico, driven by the Mexican Government and civil society.

  1. Starting in 2014, Mexico has been exploring open contracting with the World Bank and the Open Contracting Partnership (resulting in a handy dashboard) at the Open Government Summit last November, President Enrique Peña Nieto made a high-level commitment to implement the Open Contracting Data Standard in the for New International airport of Mexico City –the 5th largest infrastructure project in the world–  with the first data released in March. This came hand in hand with a broader commitment to open data and steering the development of the Open Data Charter.
  2. At the UK Anti-Corruption Summit this May Mexico led to the creation of the Contracting 5, a new group of leaders in open contracting, also including Colombia, France, Ukraine and the UK, to work towards country-level learning on the implementation of open contracting is well shared and available to other nations’ embarking on this approach.
  3. As part of its open contracting commitments, Mexico will be exploring open contracting in health procurement and the energy sector, through the first round of tenders of oil exploration and exploitation “Ronda 1”.
  4. A pilot is underway using the Open Contracting Data Standard for the largest telecommunication investment in Mexico’s history:  Red Compartida. This is the first time a country is using the standard to publish all information of this Public Private Partnership (PPP) in open data, and the Mexico will work with the World Bank and the Open Contracting Partnership to inform the development of a OCDS-PPP extension.
  5. Lastly, Mexico is working to update its procurement regulatory framework related to public procurement, to promote the principles of open contracting to achieve the mandatory release of data from all contracting phases, according to the Open Contracting Data Standard, for all public contracts across the federal government.

Finally, and equally as important to these efforts, is the close collaboration with civil society organisations such as Transparencia Mexicana and constitutionally autonomous institutions such as the Mexican Institute of Access to Information (INAI), who are and have been crucial in building this more open, transparent and fairer society jointly. Mexico’s Social Witness regulation embeds civil society as monitors in the public procurement process.